Reviewed: August 14, 2009
Genre: LGBT-M/M Romantic Suspense
Series: N/A ~ (Non-Series / Stand-Alone)
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 308 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Fantastic. Just absolutely and utterly fantastic.
I won't go into another summary of the plot, it's been sufficiently and succinctly summarized in the product description. In fact, I'm not even sure I can review it as well as some have, but after reading Zero at the Bone, I just couldn't fail to add my complete appreciation and admiration of the book and its author.
I was blown away by the depth and intricacy of this story. It's a thriller that grabs you by the throat from the very beginning with its taut pacing and moral ambiguity, and blasts you into a journey across country, through tragedies of past and present, mapping the human soul and the heart's capacity to love and heal along the way. There is SO very much to appreciate and enjoy in this book. It's gritty and urbane. It's tragic and funny. It's hopeful and grief stricken. And it's delightful to find an author that takes the time to allow the story to reveal all of that to the readers in a realistic and dauntingly honest way, instead of paring down the length of the book for the sake of a single element.
I'd caution anyone who was too keen on labeling this book as one thing or another - or using any labels at all, really. Yes, it's an M/M romantic thriller. But that label is far too confining for such a huge story of crime and passion, danger and redemption, self sacrifice and loss...and the joy of finding. It's just a totally huge story in every way. I don't mean the length of it - though it IS delightfully long - but the scope of it. The feel of it. The feeling it left in me after finishing it. It's just huge.
I loved this book. I loved the plot. I loved the characters - Jack, who's almost too good a man to be believed, and yet has just enough peccadilloes to make him real (and totally lovable), is a staunch idealist and inherently humane, and D, who has more layers than a tiered wedding cake, each one darker than the last, and each one driven by pain and circumstance. Crushingly human, blind to his worth, D in particular struck a chord in me that will last long after I archive this book. Both of the men were so very real to me, their relationship - the WHOLE of their relationship, not just the romance parts, was so adroitly woven, I felt like I was a part of their world, instead of them being a part of mine. And the secondary characters - the mysterious X and the earnest Churchill in particular - were pure delight.
Seville is a MASTER of character development and with Zero at the Bone, has proven herself capable of going the distance. Keeping a book that long on an even pace without losing control of the plot is a feat that many of my all time favorite authors don't always manage to do. Seville does it with aplomb.
In absolutely every way, I highly recommend this book. If you're one of the unfortunates who has yet to discover the opportunities for a great read in books including gay relationships, this would be a good place to start if you're looking to. I haven't read many books that matched this level of satisfying reading, regardless of the gender pairing.
I'll say it again - I LOVED it!
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